RELEASED: 23 August 1997
PLATFORM: Nintendo 64
In 1995, the seventeenth James Bond film, entitled GoldenEye, was released to cinemas worldwide. Shortly thereafter, Nintendo commissioned Rareware, a second-party developer of theirs, to make a videogame adaptation of the film for their forthcoming “Ultra 64” console (later renamed “Nintendo 64”). Martin Hollis of Rareware was put in charge of the project – his first obstacle: no one had seen a Nintendo 64 or knew precisely what its capabilities were. Hollis and staff began developing test levels and objects on an SGI Onyx computer system claiming that, “if it runs at all on the Onyx,” it could run on the N64.
The original game design called for GoldenEye to be an on-rails shooter, similar to Virtua Cop. When the Nintendo 64 was finally released the following year, Hollis and colleague, Dave Doak, reportedly spent many weeks playing Super Mario 64. Discovering Mario’s newfound freedom to fully explore his surroundings, Hollis changed GoldenEye’s game design to eliminate the restrictive “on-rails” aspect, opting instead for Mario 64-esque exploration. The new game design was also influenced by Mario 64’s mission system. Mario makes several trips to the same course in order to accomplish different tasks to earn a Power Star. The new GoldenEye design called for objective-based gameplay, requiring the player to complete several objectives in each stage before advancing to the next.
In 1997, two years after beginning work on the game, it was released as GoldenEye 007 (though the title screen identifies it only as GoldenEye). The game proved so popular that the entire stock was sold out before the holiday season. One presumed reason for the game’s popularity was its multiplayer mode, supporting up to four players (despite the Nintendo 64’s four controller ports, most multiplayer games at the time only supported two players). Also, a single player could unlock “cheats” by completing missions on certain difficulty levels within a set time, contributing to the game’s replay value. Cheats ranged from weapon unlocks to special abilities, even a setting which would deform the characters, giving them large heads and small bodies.
GoldenEye 007 has been praised by critics, being called the greatest first-person shooter game of all time. At the time, its popularity spawned myriad shooting games trying to capitalise on its success. Some critics and fans have speculated that the popular Xbox MMOG, Halo, would not have existed were it not for GoldenEye 007.
The game also began the “modern” James Bond game franchise. Whilst there had been games based on Bond films since the early 1980s, none had even approached the success of GoldenEye. In 1998, the Bond rights were transferred to Electronic Arts, who followed GoldenEye with an obscure adaptation of Tomorrow Never Dies for Sony PlayStation. In 2007, the rights were granted to EA’s principal competitor, Activision, who, in 2010, released a revised version of GoldenEye exclusively for Nintendo’s Wii and DS consoles.
The original GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 has remained popular with a core group of gamers and game-hackers.
James Bond - Agent 007 of MI6. The player-
controlled character in single-player mode.
Alec Trevelyan - Agent 006 of MI6, presumed
dead after the Arkhangelsk mission. Is, in fact,
the leader of the Janus Crime Syndicate. Said to
be the son of a Lienz Cossack.
Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov - At first, a colonel
with the Soviet army. Later, a Russian army
general and head of space division. Corrupted by
the Janus Syndicate.
Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova - A level-two
programmer at the Severnaya satellite
installation. The only witness to an attack on
Severnaya by Ourumov.
Xenia Zargevena Onatopp - Formerly a fighter
pilot for the Soviet air-force, now Janus' right-
Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky - An ex-KGB agent,
currently a freelance arms dealer. Has information
Dmitri Mishkin - Russian minister of defence.
Head of an investigation into the theft of the
secret GoldenEye satellite codes and subsequent
attack on Severnaya.
Boris Grishenko - A level-three computer
programmer at the Severnaya satellite
installation. Corrupted by the Janus Syndicate.
Dr. Doak - Bond's double-agent contact in the
Arkhangelsk weapons facility.
Core GoldenEye 007 gameplay involves a single player controlling James Bond. The plotline is based somewhat on the Bond film of the same title, but with several additional points. For example, whilst the film establishes that nine years pass between the pre-title sequence and the beginning of the film’s main plot, the game shows events that occur during that time. Specifically, missions to the unfinished satellite control base in Severnaya and a missile silo in Kyrgyzstan, prefaced by “Nine” or “Five Years Ago” in the levels’ opening captions.
Whilst the game diverts from the film’s plot in this area, it is largely the same everywhere else. One exception is Bond’s presence in the Severnaya control bunker when it is destroyed by the GoldenEye satellite. From the “Statue” mission onwards, it follows the film’s plot more closely.
As the player advances through levels, they will meet resistance from the Russian military and agents of the Janus Syndicate. The player must use a provided weapon to shoot down enemy combatants. Usually, Bond will be provided with a weapon at the start of a mission, typically a silenced pistol. The player is encouraged to exercise stealth, remaining unseen and unheard for as long as possible. In many levels, if Bond makes too much noise (causing objects to explode, using a loud gun, etc.), the guards will leave their posts to engage him in a firefight. Sometimes, guards will raise the alarm, calling for reinforcements – usually, heavily-armed special forces with body armour.
At the conclusion of a mission, the player is scored primarily on accuracy – that is, how many of their shots hit their targets. Also recorded is a Kill Count (how many characters were killed by the player’s shots), where characters were hit (in the head, body, limbs, and guns or hats), and how long the player took to complete the mission.
When the player finishes the final mission in the GoldenEye plot, the staff credits are seen, followed by a complete roster of all characters (main, supporting, and extra) in the game. When the final mission is completed on hard difficulty (called “00 Agent”), one of two bonus levels will unlock. The first is called “Aztec”, based somewhat on the Bond film, Moonraker. When that level is completed on “00 Agent”, a second bonus level unlocks. Called “Egyptian”, its stage is based somewhat on an Egyptian ruin from The Spy Who Loved Me; the main antagonist is Baron Samedi, from Live And Let Die; and the main objective is to retrieve Francisco Scaramanga's Golden Gun. Once both bonus missions have been completed on all difficulty levels, a new difficulty level called “007” is unlocked. “007 Mode” allows the player to customise guard strength, accuracy, reaction speed, as well as how damaging their shots are to Bond. The mission under 007 Mode is otherwise identical to the 00 Agent difficulty level.
Critics have speculated that one of the reasons for GoldenEye’s high replay value is its time challenges to unlock cheat options. Completing a mission on a particular difficulty level within a set time will unlock a cheat. Cheats serve various purposes, some practical, some humourous. The first cheat the player has the opportunity to unlock is known as “DK Mode” which will deform the characters, giving them large heads, arms, and guns, and small bodies (presumably the setting was named for Donkey Kong, as the characters’ large arms and small legs in DK Mode might, to some, make them appear gorilla-like). Other cheat options include invincibility, paintballs, slow and fast animation, and turbo-dashing.
Thus far, GoldenEye is the only Bond game to feature cheat options of this kind. 007 NightFire contained a password system that would allow players to unlock weapon and gadget upgrades that could normally be unlocked in the single-player game. 007 Everything or Nothing featured cheat-only weapon and car upgrades which could be accessed through controller-button combinations - these would only work if a certain number of "Gold Medals" had been collected.
GoldenEye was notable for being the premier second- or third-party game for Nintendo 64 to feature four-player support. In multiplayer mode, players may select from any of the main or extra characters to use as their in-game avatar. A 64-button controller combination exists to unlock the game staff, the Biker, and the Terrorist for use as avatars also.
Several of the stages from the single-player game can be used for multiplayer matches, the objective of which is to eliminate one’s opponents to raise one’s own score, or to fight until a set time expires. There are some multiplayer-exclusive stages which can be used also, such as the Library, Temple, and Complex.
The Nintendo 64 GameShark by InterAct was released at approximately the same time as GoldenEye. To that end, several industrious players began using it to hack the game. They found a great deal of superfluous data in the game’s source code – likely to be the crew’s experiments when development had begun in 1995. According to Martin Hollis in a 2004 blog entry, the crew would make objects – guns, alarm consoles, chairs, etc. – and then would attempt to find ways to work them into the game. Some of these experimental things which did not make it into the final game remained in the game’s source code.
Among many other things, hackers found an orphaned alarm console with two bells, a motorcycle and animation code for it (suggesting that Bond or another character was meant to use it at some point), a potted plant, and several light fixtures. The most notorious item they found, however, was an orphaned level known as the “Citadel”. Speculation ran rampant on this subject, with some players postulating that Oddjob or Mayday (multiplayer characters who are not present in single-player mode) may have been present there. In an interview, Hollis revealed that the “Citadel” was a rough test level, containing only ramps, stairs, and platforms, and was never intended to be used in the final game (which was contradictory to Rareware's official stance that the Citadel was nothing more than a "fanboy rumour"). For years, the “Citadel” pushed hackers’ abilities – some, including Hollis and Dave Doak, speculated that the level could not ever be totally restored to the game, as too much of the code was missing. However, in 2005, two hackers from a prolific Rareware game hacking consortium presented the community with screenshots and videos of and (nearly ten thousand lines of) GameShark codes to access the “Citadel” in its entirety – revealing that it was precisely as Hollis reported, a landscape dominated by ramps and platforms. Later, it was adapted for multiplayer mode.
To this day, GoldenEye is still very much a hacker’s game. The same consortium that restored the “Citadel” have also found ways to “cross-over” GoldenEye with other Rareware games (as Rare typically used the same substrate for multiple games), including Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, and Donkey Kong 64.
GoldenEye is considered the most-hacked game ever, with Super Mario 64 coming in a close second.
MICROSOFT ACQUIRES RAREWARE
In September of 2002, Rareware’s founders, Chris and Tim Stamper, sold their 51% stake in the company to Microsoft, with Nintendo selling its 49% stake also. Microsoft paid a total of $375,000,000 US to own 100% of the company – an unprecedented amount for a videogame development firm – making it a first-party developer for Microsoft. In January of 2007, an Xbox news website reported that GoldenEye 007 was to be released on Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade service with new graphics and sounds, as well as online multiplayer support (similarly to other Rareware N64 games, such as Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark). Shortly thereafter, gaming site, 1UP.com, reported that GoldenEye was to have been ported to the Xbox 360 console, rather than simply updated and released on XBLA – however, the project had stalled when Nintendo objected, demanding they be paid royalties for the game’s usage. Neither report was never officially confirmed, though several videos of what appeared to be an updated GoldenEye made their way onto YouTube, their descriptions touting them as footage of the XBLA version.
On the other side of the issue, Nintendo is unable to license GoldenEye for availability on their Wii Virtual Console service. Regardless of Microsoft’s willingness to release a Rareware game to their principal competitor, Nintendo would also require the permission of Activision, the current possessors of the James Bond game rights. Unnamed Nintendo staffers have reported that getting the game to Virtual Console is “unlikely” for being cost-prohibitive.
ACTIVISION & GoldenEye
At E3 2010, Activision made the surprise announcement that they were in the process of remaking GoldenEye for Nintendo’s Wii console, exclusively. The game’s screenplay was written by Bruce Feirstein, who also co-wrote the screenplay to the GoldenEye film. This game, whilst retaining the title, GoldenEye 007, is set in the modern day and stars the likeness and voice of Daniel Craig in place of Pierce Brosnan. Many of the plot points from the film were also too dated for a modern adaptation – for example, Alec Trevelyan is said to be the son of a Lienz Cossack in the film. If this point were kept, Trevelyan would have needed to be in his mid-70s. Also, none of the adapted game’s plot takes place in the Soviet Union. Rather, references are made to the Soviets and communism being antiquated. There is virtually no spare time between the destruction of the Arkhangelsk weapons facility and the rest of the plot, unlike the film where nine years pass. The only member of the film’s cast to be recast for the game was Judi Dench, as the voice of “M” – the rest of the characters were replaced with new voice-actors and likenesses.
Fans and critics alike showed some trepidation at first as to how another Bond game would fare on Wii, owing to the meagre critical response to the first, 007 Quantum of Solace, the Wii version of which is considered to be the weakest of all the game’s ports. Regardless, Activision’s GoldenEye was released to critical acclaim in November 2010. Some critics have speculated, however, that this GoldenEye will, ultimately, not sell as well as the Nintendo 64 game, mostly because the majority of FPS playership is held by Microsoft (due mostly to the attraction of the Halo series), with Nintendo’s Wii being seen as more of a “first-timer’s” or “children’s” console. There have been reports, however, that the Wii-exclusive GoldenEye is attracting players away from Nintendo’s competitors, particularly those who were familiar with the Nintendo 64 game.
As stated previously, GoldenEye began the modern James Bond game series. Most of the games which followed it attempted to emulate its distinct "feel", typically by implementing first-person, "behind the gun" perspective.
James Bond 007, released 15 December 1998 by Nintendo, was an action game for the Game Boy, similar in gameplay to The Legend of Zelda. Whilst not terribly popular, it has the distinction of being the first modern Bond game with an original plotline.
Tomorrow Never Dies, released 16 November 1999 by EA Games, was a relatively unknown adaptation of the eighteenth Bond film for the Sony PlayStation only. It vastly differed from its N64 predecessor in many ways, not the least of which was in its third-person viewpoint and its lack of any multiplayer support.
The World is not Enough, released 17 October 2000 by EA Games, also managed a fair amount of success on the Nintendo 64. Though it was released for PlayStation, also, there is little similarity between the two games. The PS1 version neglected multiplayer support again, though it did feature longer levels than its N64 counterpart. The N64 version, however, played very similarly to an enhanced GoldenEye, adding features such as weapon reloading animations, Q-Gadgets, and cinematic cutscenes with voice-acting. IGN has declared The World is not Enough for N64 to be the second-best Bond game of all time (next to GoldenEye). A version of the game for PC had been planned, but was cancelled.
007 Racing, released 21 November 2000 by EA Games, was a Bond-based racing game for PlayStation only. It has been called the James Bond equivalent of Mario Kart - taking a character or characters from a popular game series and putting them behind the wheel of a car. It has also been compared to Spy Hunter, given one's objective of destroying one's enemies on the road. Most gaming websites rank 007 Racing fairly low in popularity, however, the driving aspect of the game has been integrated into several contemporary Bond titles.
Agent Under Fire, released 13 March 2002 by EA Games, was a fairly unsuccessful installment for the Sixth-Generation consoles and the second contemporary Bond game with an original plotline. Whilst some critics praised the game for its original story and highly-detailed graphics, there were also claims that it was out of place in the contemporary Bond universe. Its TechniColour-like colours and brass-dominated underscore were more reminiscent of a Sean Connery-era Bond film, along with its loose similarity to Diamonds Are Forever and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It is also the only Bond game not to feature the likeness of the current Bond actor (in this case, Pierce Brosnan), with the developers choosing to create an original likeness for James Bond to go along with the original storyline.
At this point, all Bond games were consistently released for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox until the end of the Sixth Generation.
NightFire, released 18 November 2002 by EA Games, is widely considered the best Bond game for the Sixth Generation. Its Game Boy Advance port, developed by Gearbox Software, had the distinction of being the first fully 3D game for that platform. Whilst it had been intended that the same Bond likeness from Agent Under Fire be used for this game, fan distaste with EA's original Bond led Eurocom to seek permission to use Pierce Brosnan’s likeness instead. Reportedly, Brosnan expressed an interest in providing Bond’s voice for the game as well, but Adam Blackwood had already been recorded performing the Bond character’s voice acting and had been paid for his work.
The game begins with the iconic James Bond gun-barrel sequence (Bond walking across the screen, viewed through the barrel of a rifle, before suddenly turning and firing at the camera). This is the first time since GoldenEye that this sequence is seen, though, where the sequence would play before the title screen in GoldenEye, it plays before the action of the first level in NightFire, making it more similar to a Bond film in that respect.
Along with the GCN/PS2/Xbox ports, this game was also ported to the Game Boy Advance and the PC. It was the first Bond game to be released on PC since the US version of Operation Stealth (called James Bond: The Stealth Affair) for MSDOS in 1990 (12 years prior).
Everything or Nothing, released 17 February 2004 by EA Games, was the first Bond game to feature Pierce Brosnan’s voice (though not the first to feature his likeness). Also featured were the likenesses and voices of Shannon Elizabeth, Heidi Klum, Mya, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, and John Cleese (who had provided his own character’s voice in 007 The World is not Enough four years earlier). The likeness of Richard Kiel was also featured in the role of Jaws (from the films, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker – a role he had not played [excluding his likeness in GoldenEye 007, which had been taken from Moonraker promotional material] in twenty-five years; his likeness would appear again in GoldenEye 007 for Wii).
The game’s screenplay was written by veteran Bond writer, Bruce Feirstein, adapted from an idea by Danny Bilson and Paul Demeo, and played out similarly to a Bond film. The first level in the single-player mode was prefaced by the gun-barrel sequence and followed by the game’s title theme song, performed by the pop singer, Mya (who also had a small role as CIA agent, Mya Starling, in the game, itself). The game’s background score was composed by prolific television composer, Sean Callery, and is the first game in the Bond series to feature a live orchestra in the soundtrack (whilst Agent Under Fire and NightFire contained recordings of the John Barry Orchestra playing the James Bond theme, their original scores were performed by synthesiser).
This game is also the first to feature a principally third-person perspective since the critically-panned Tomorrow Never Dies in 1998.
A version of this game was released for Game Boy Advance on 17 November 2003, three months prior to the GCN/PS2/Xbox release.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, released 22 November 2004, was developed and published by EA Games. The plot centres around a vengeful ex-MI6 agent who was given an artificial eye after losing the use of his original in an encounter with Dr. No three years prior to the events of the game. In a simulation (serving as the game’s first level), he was directly responsible for the death of James Bond and was summarily dismissed from the service. He is then recruited by Auric Goldfinger to serve in an unnamed criminal organisation, headed by “Number One” (Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the Connery-era Bond films).
The game was noted for featuring many classic Bond villains in a kind of “good-guy” role, but criticised for using the name “GoldenEye”. Many critics found the game’s premise and gameplay mediocre at best and saw the use of the title as a way to capitalise on the success of GoldenEye 007. Primarily, it was criticised for diverting so far from James Bond canon, even appearing to kill off Bond himself, in the first level.
This game was released for Nintendo DS on 13 June 2005, seven months after the GCN/PS2/Xbox release. However, it fared no better than its console counterparts in critical reception.
From Russia With Love, released 15 November 2005, was the final Bond game released for all three Sixth-Generation consoles. It was an adaptation of the Bond film by the same title. Similarly to the way Pierce Brosnan lent his likeness and voice to Everything or Nothing, Sean Connery provided the same for this game (making this the first time Connery has played the role of James Bond in twenty-two years). However, as the rest of the original cast were either unavailable or deceased, their 3D likenesses were derived from film footage and sound-alikes were hired to perform the voice-acting. Cinema and television composer, Christopher Lennertz, wrote an original score for the game, based on cues by John Barry from the film. Vic Flick, the guitarist who performed the riffs in the original James Bond theme recordings reported that he had also contributed to Lennertz’ score.
Critical reviews were mixed on this game. Some found it to be outdated, compared to the high-tech Everything or Nothing (whose third-person perspective was emulated in From Russia). Others found it to be a refreshing change, returning to the original world of James Bond as envisioned by Ian Fleming.
Quantum of Solace, released 4 November 2008, was the first Bond game to be published by Activision, the first to be released for the Seventh-Generation consoles (though the Sixth-Generation PlayStation 2 was also supported), and the first to star the likeness and voice of Daniel Craig. The game’s overall critical score was fairly mid-range, with the PlayStation 2 version being the most critically-acclaimed and the Wii version being the most panned. Critics said that the Wii version was clearly inferior, perhaps by design – the game’s low frame-rate made it almost unplayable at times and the Wii Zapper-exclusive control scheme made the learning-curve somewhat high. The game was ported to six consoles (Windows, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and DS) – of those six, only the Wii and Xbox 360 versions were in first-person perspective. The rest were over-the-shoulder third-person shooters (equatable to Resident Evil 4). The DS version used a control scheme similar to The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – the player would move Bond by dragging the stylus across the Touch Screen. The PC version, released on 8 November 2008, was the first PC Bond game since NightFire in 2002.
GoldenEye 007, released 2 November 2010 by Activision, is the most recent installment of the Bond game series (see “Activision & GoldenEye” above). In an unusual marketing move, perhaps to quell speculation that Activision was anti-Wii following the failure of that platform's Quantum of Solace port, the game is exclusive to Nintendo’s Wii and DS consoles. The Wii version addressed many of the issues which arose with Quantum – the first being frame-rate issues. As the version of Quantum released for Wii had been originally developed for the computationally-superior Xbox 360, Wii was unable to efficiently display as many objects onscreen simultaneously as its counterparts. Being developed specifically for Wii, GoldenEye was able to cut down on virtually all frame-rate problems (though players have noted occasional frame-rate lag in four-person multiplayer). The next was control-scheme – GoldenEye’s primary controller is the Classic Controller Pro (a special-edition gold version of which was packaged with the game’s “Classic Edition”), making for a more traditional gameplay experience. Indeed, the game’s default control setting supports the peripheral. However, the original Classic Controller, the GameCube controller, and the Wii Zapper (or Wii Remote and Nunchuk independently) are also supported, making it the first Bond game for Wii to support all major control schemes.
The game received mostly mid- to high-level critical reviews. The consensus of most critics is that Activision’s GoldenEye does not “stand in the shadow” of Rareware’s GoldenEye, rather creating a new, compelling storyline and gameplay experience. However, some have noted the inferior level of enemy AI, relative to previous games – with unusually large blind-spots where enemies cannot detect Bond’s presence and a lack of adaptability to the situation. In Quantum of Solace, for example, if Bond eliminates all enemies in the area but one, that one will take greater caution not to be killed, itself.
A port of GoldenEye 007 to the other Seventh-Generation consoles is not planned at last check, making this the first Nintendo-exclusive Bond game since James Bond 007 for Game Boy in 1998.
Blood Stone, released 2 November 2010 by Activision, is the most recent installment of the Bond game series for non-Nintendo consoles. Whilst Wii received an exclusive GoldenEye remake, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox received a Bond game with a completely original plotline (similar to the EA Bond games), which was also written by Bruce Feirstein. It is a third-person shooter, though removing some elements from Quantum of Solace, such as the cover-to-cover dashing system.
Compared to its Wii cousin, Blood Stone did not score as well with critics, receiving low- to mid-range reviews.
Whilst a Wii port of the game is not planned at last check, there is an existing Nintendo DS version, making this the first time that any console has had two simultaneous Bond games available for it, as GoldenEye 007 is available for it as well.
THE MIND'S RUBBISH BIN
There are several incongruities in the Dam. The first being the green military transport truck, which does not appear to serve any particular purpose. Whilst some players have reported using it as cover exiting the tunnel and others have speculated that it serves to direct the player to the next half of the level, it is not relevant to any mission objective and it cannot be shot for use as an explosive weapon. The next is a metal hatch in the floor of the satellite guard house, which cannot be opened. Third, if the first alarm console is triggered, two guards will be summoned from behind the security gates, one of whom has no weapon. Fourth (and, reportedly, most vexing to players) is a man-made island or pier at the river’s bank opposite the dam, itself. It contains another guard tower and a gun-turret, however, it cannot be reached by any normal means. Several moorings on one of the dam’s piers suggest that, at one point in development, Bond reached the island in a boat. Finally, at the most distant pier from the dam’s entry gate exist several metal packing cases which will explode when shot. These cases can be found in several other levels also, but they are always indestructible.
There are only three Russian Commandants in the single-player game. Whilst they are armed and also attempt to kill Bond, they serve no other purpose.
The game’s representation of the Skorpion automatic pistol was intended to be called the “Spyder”, a reference to the slight (perhaps intentional) Czech-to-English misspelling of “scorpion” (spiders and scorpions are both types of arachnids). For some reason, the name had to be changed. It was renamed “Klobb”, referencing Ken Lobb, the Rareware liason to Nintendo.
There is some debate, however, over whether or not the Klobb was, indeed, the “Spyder”. Some have speculated that a beta-version of what is known in-game as the “KF7 Soviet” (seen to be an original design based somewhat on the Kalashnikov AK47, only more streamlined) could have been the “Spyder” instead. However, the game’s instructional literature’s description of the weapon called “Spyder” seems to fit the Klobb (particularly as the Klobb is not mentioned).
The beta version of the bonus weapon, “Taser”, more closely resembled a laser cannon. The final weapon is very much smaller and operates similarly to an early-model stun-gun.
This is the only FPS Bond game to show a third-person animation of Bond falling dead when he is defeated.
Using a GameShark code, the player can disable level-endings. With this code active, one is able to reach the base of the Dam, where a stone platform and a green metal hatch can be found.
The suit Bond wears on the Surface levels is based on the snow fatigues worn by Roger Moore’s James Bond in the pre-title sequence of A View to a Kill.
Bond gains access to the Bunker from the Surface by shooting the locks on a hatch in the ventilation tower. When the hatch falls onto the catwalk below, it makes a loud noise which none of the guards in the Bunker seem to hear. Also, looking up from Bond’s starting position in the Bunker, there is no evidence that a hatch ever existed – the grating viewed from insider the Bunker is inconsistent with the grating seen on the Surface.
The civilians in the Streets level all wear red shirts, referencing “redshirt” characters (a term with origins in Star Trek, where the red-uniformed security officers usually died violently in order to demonstrate the danger faced by the main characters). These civilians can be killed in great numbers before a penalty is incurred.
In the Facility, down a green-brick corridor behind the mezzanine, there is a set of laboratory flasks placed atop a metal ventilation duct. The duct is too high up to logically justify the flasks’ presence there.
Martin Hollis, the game’s chief director, worked briefly at Nintendo of America in 1998, contributing to the development of the Nintendo GameCube.
The “Shotgun” (different from the “Automatic Shotgun”), the Hunting Knife, and the Taser do not appear anywhere in the normal game – they cannot be found in boxes, on tables, or be taken from defeated guards. They will only appear through the usage of cheat options (i.e. All Guns, 2x Hunting Knife).
In the beta version, bullet impacts against humanoid targets would seem to eject blood-spatter. In the final version, whilst humanoid targets were allowed to show blood-patches, the spattering was changed to white smoke and a yellow impact flash, perhaps because of concerns that blood-spatter would be objectionable to some players. A GameShark code exists to recolour the smoke or the impact flash back to red to, in effect, restore the beta spattering. Building on these, another code exists to make all paintballs in the “Paintball Mode” cheat option red (when used in conjunction with the other codes and the Cougar Magnum, Silver PP7, or another weapon which fires through its targets, these create the illusion that one’s targets not only bleed on their clothing, but will graphically eject blood-spatter into the air and onto walls or objects).
Interestingly, exactly the opposite is true of Activision's GoldenEye – bullet impacts against enemies will eject blood-spatter, but will not leave blood patches.
Whilst Bond is seen throwing a Fairbairn-Sykes knife in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Throwing Knife weapon in this game appears to be a Bowie or commando knife, more similar to Mishka and Grishka’s throwing knives from Octopussy.
The beta Surface level had falling snow. It is unknown why this feature was removed, though perhaps because the staff thought it may upset the player’s aim.
A death animation, termed the “GoldenEye fall”, makes its debut appearance here and is seen again in nearly every following Bond game. It is characterised as a fall to the knees then to the chest, ending up with the character face-down on the floor.
GoldenEye 007 was referenced in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee, with the “Motion-Sensor Bomb” object, which greatly resembles a GoldenEye Proximity Mine (down to the green LED lights).
In the second Bunker level, the CCTV tape of Bond’s capture is in a GoldenEye VHS cassette sleeve.
The grip of most of the game’s pistols is at such an angle that it will fairly consistently clip through the hand of the character holding it.
Firing sixty-four shots will make any older bulletholes disappear.
If a guard is holding a pistol, its idle animations (swatting insects, yawning, scratching, etc.) will always begin and end with it taking the two-handed rifle pose.
The large room behind the Frigate’s helipad does not appear to serve a purpose. As Xenia Onatopp is mentioned in the mission briefing, some players have speculated that she could be found here at one point. However, inexplicable areas of this kind are plentiful in this game: the area behind the fence on the first floor of the bottling room in the Facility, the observatory and westernmost huts in the Surface, an unreachable platform in the Silo, and the second floor of the Control centre.
A racing game based somewhat on the GoldenEye film was to have been released for Virtual Boy. However, low demand for the system caused the game to be cancelled. It is not known who was developing this game or how much of it was finished before its cancellation.
The “talking man” video on some computer screens is scenic art director, Karl Hilton.
It was originally planned for the other three James Bond actors (Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton) to be unlockable in multiplayer mode. At least one of the other characters (the one representing Sean Connery) had been completely finished and photographed for promotional material before their agents all refused permission, particularly because they would all be known by their actual names, instead of "James Bond". The actors' original face textures remained in the final game, but the corresponding meshes were removed. Hackers have been able to partially restore them to the game by mapping their faces onto other meshes.
Even though all of the generic heads in the game were based on those of the game’s crew, only Dave Doak is ever mentioned by name in the single-player game. “Dr. Doak” is Bond’s double-agent contact in the Facility. Also, to further help the player make the correlation, he is listed as "Dr. Dave Doak" in the staff credits.
In the mission briefing for the bonus level, Egyptian, “M” describes Baron Samedi as someone with whom Bond had “crossed swords” in Haiti. Bond’s only encounters with Baron Samedi (from the film Live and Let Die) were on the ficticious Caribbean island of San Monique. Bond has never been to Haiti.
In the game’s source code, the message, “happy now karl?”, appears next to the memory address for the Invincibility cheat. Scenic art director, Karl Hilton, had expressed concern with a planned “Double Health” cheat, suggesting that players would prefer simply to be invincible.
Bond shoots a Facility guard.
The player is encouraged to use stealth to avoid firefights.
Bond in the entry kinematic to the Archives.
Two players beginning a multiplayer match.
Reportedly, a shot of the Xbox Live Arcade version's Facility.
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